Latest from Technology

Photo 124234271 © Wrightstudio |
Photo 266347874 © Iryna Melnyk |
Photo 125097123 © Bogdanhoda |
Photo 209150239 © BiancoBlue |
Dreamstime M 209150239
Photo 58342032 © Alexander Raths |
Dreamstime M 58342032
Photo 158929860 © Alphaspirit |
Photo 149286875 © Sean Pavone |
Dreamstime S 149286875

Rocking AHRExpo 2022 in Las Vegas

Dec. 9, 2021
The highly anticipated 2022 show will be the industry’s first major in-person gathering following the shutdowns of the pandemic.

We are all carefully Vetting Vegas in anticipation of the return of our industry's largest event. Cancellation in 2021 created a great hole that needs to be filled. This year the AHR Expo theme is Ready to Rock. This is your opportunity to interact face to face with the latest innovations and innovators the industry has to offer.

The AHR Expo (International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition) is back in Las Vegas Jan. 31 - Feb. 2, 2022, after a forced cancellation in 2021 of a show planned for Chicago. The highly anticipated 2022 show will be the industry’s first major in-person gathering following the shutdowns of the pandemic. Registration is free and attendees are encouraged to register early on Show management is elated to sound the horn, We’re back! has provided free education sessions to AHRExpo for the past 22 years—ever since the Dallas show back in 2000. These early education sessions laid the foundation we’ve been building on ever since.

In this fun article from 22 years ago I talk about our industry’s  evolution:

Digital Dinosaur Does Dallas" could have been a title for a low-grade horror movie but proved to be a significant growing point for us. Our involvement in The State of the Art Building Automation session at the AHREXPO helped us both inform and be informed about the rapid web growth as well as the exciting topics of evolving communication standards. We discovered that our greatest asset was the fact that we dropped out of the sky without the normal connection to large manufacturers or publishers. Once we convinced the industry that our intentions were honorable and that we wanted to build an automated building web resource the support was phenomenal.

Our Education sessions are shaping up well with special thanks to my speaking partner Scott Cochrane and the resources of Cochrane Supply:

Check out the following link for a full list of our sessions:

2022 Las Vegas AHR Expo Educational Sessions

Here’s even more insight on these education opportunities.

Anticipating a Game-Changing AHR Expo, by Anto Budiardjo, CEO Padi, Inc.:

The BAS industry gathers again at AHR 2022 in Las Vegas after two years of wondering what the future of smart buildings will be during and after the pandemic. The anticipation of this annual industry gathering is high, to say the least.

For me and many in the industry, the pandemic has been transformational. Amidst the sadness of fatalities and hardships that many have faced, key industry leaders have been using their Zoom time to get through the pandemic and work on a better future for us all.

Project Haystack at AHR Expo 2022 with hosts Marc Petock and John Petze:

Today's increased access to data from equipment systems and a new generation of IoT devices presents new opportunities to improve the efficiency and sustainability of our facilities, however, having access to data is only the first step in making meaningful use of it. Capturing the meaning of our data and representing that meaning in a uniform way is the key to deriving benefit from facility and equipment data.

The Next BAS Divergence by Scott Cochrane, President & CEO of Cochrane Supply:

We’ve reached the end of an era…. The end of another BAS Era. Goodbye RS-485 Serial… Hello to CAT6 Ethernet. Change is scary, but those who look only to the past and present are certain to miss the future. And the BAS advantages of this move are becoming overwhelming!

The first BAS Divergence was marked by the major shift from Pneumatics to DDC, moving from air pressure in tubing, to digital accompanied by RS485, RS232 and LON.  And with that, everything changed. From controllers to sensors to actuators, everything became digital and included data and feedback.  We, as an industry, became proficient in utilizing Serial Networks and computers to add visibility and control at a level far beyond that of the Pneumatic Era. Granted, it took years for the change to settle, but by the early 2000’s the industry had changed, leapt forward, with no looking back.

Smart Women Envisioning Smarter Buildings Panel at AHR Expo by Therese Sullivan, Customer Marketing Leader at Tridium, Inc.:

There is so much at stake when decisions are made about how a building should become smarter— not just about the comfort of a space and how much energy will be required to keep it comfortable, but also about privacy, physical security, and cyber security.  It just makes sense that you want a diverse selection of people making decisions about how the contributing technology is evolving, particularly the automation and controls systems. Yet, if you just consider gender diversity, there is an obvious scarcity of women working in building automation and HVAC Controls. Why is this? And what can be done to attract and retain more women as part of the big paradigm shift toward data-driven, intelligent buildings?

The last AHRExpo was held in Orlando in 2020. The 2020 Show welcomed over 50,000 attendees and more than 1,900 exhibiting companies. We were very pleased with attendance at our free education sessions. ControlTrends captured several of those sessions on video so if you were unable to attend you can see what you missed.

After 50 years in the industry, I find the source of our flakiness in this LinkedIn post: Why are smart buildings stupid hard? Because they are all snowflakes.

It reminds me of why our industry is so flakey and why I constantly need to work with a bunch of flakes. We all are working with snowflakes: custom-built, highly specialized, unique-instance systems. All our solutions need constant correction to be part of each unique building. This is difficult to do, and worse, it fragments us as an industry. 

As we strive to standardize new snowflakes are constantly falling, driven by changes like decarbonization, electrification, energy storage, IoT on top, occupant driven, etc. Like Bob Dylan sang, "The times they are a-changing."

As our industry is outsourced, as more and more of the “old guard” retire, we find our industry losing irreplaceable knowledge about each snowflake. All that knowledge is melting into a big, messy puddle.

The purpose of why the building was designed the unique way it was is lost. We need that knowledge of the complex structure of each snowflake to morph buildings into the necessary hybrid identities they now need to be. We need to address these changes.

Whether you agree or disagree you are just another industry "flake.”  ; )

Before I forget, here’s the inspiration for that original LinkedIn post, this episode of TechFirst, in wich John Koetsier chats with CEO and founder of Mapped, Shaun Cooley, about scaling the “smartification”  of the world's buildings:  

Why smart buildings are stupid hard - YouTube  

This LinkedIn post shows how a recruiter has used the smarter stack to position new people in filling our industry.  

"Stacking" your website using the open-source Smarter Stack provides greater details of your company's purpose and position in our industry. It is the new "about” tab. Here’s a quick primer on how it all works:

Update your Website with the Smarter Stack

#5QuestionsWith is an interview series with RE experts to help the industry learn, grow, and be inspired. And a few weeks back, Chinmayi Udaybhaskar interviewed me about the state of the building automation industry. First question:

1. How did the pandemic affect the buildings industry? How do we navigate through the next new for us in the building’s space?

The pandemic has caused us to question why and where we have large buildings. What can be done remotely, shifts our original purpose for the building’s “collaboration, communication, community,” forcing us into an online anywhere, anytime, cyber world where everything is done differently. And about the next new; Whatever that is, I use navigation rules to suggest how we navigate the unknown. I draw from personal years of sailing for over 30 years, often in uncharted waters. 

These navigation tips seem to apply to navigating through the next new.

If you are unable to Rock AHRExpo 2022 in Las Vegas we will provide you with a link to a review of our free education sessions in February 2022.

Happy New Year to one and all!

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Contractor, create an account today!